New project in Guelph hopes to put a dent in disposable waste
A Friendlier Company offers reusable takeout containers to restaurants
A new project in Guelph — A Friendlier Company — is partnering with restaurants and cafes to offer reusable food containers in a bid to reduce the amount of food takeout containers littering the streets and ending up in landfills.
Founders Jacquie Hutchings and Kayli Dale are both graduates from the University of Waterloo who wanted "to do something meaningful that would help the environment."
Participating businesses provide customers with the reusable food takeout containers and collect a deposit – 50 cents or $1 each, depending on the size. When people are done with their food, they scan a QR code on the back, which is linked to an account they've registered, and return the container to any participating business.
"We're both really passionate about sustainability so we wanted to work on something in that space," Dale told CBC News.
"When COVID hit, we realized this was kind of the perfect time to tackle it because everyone was using takeout and disposables were going through the roof.
"So that's when we started working on building out this reuse process for takeout containers," Dale added.
A Friendlier Company cleans the containers and Dale says the University of Guelph has allowed them to use their facilities for the washing and sanitation process.
"The University of Guelph has been incredibly helpful and supportive in getting this program off the ground," she said.
The containers are all polypropylene plastic and are manufactured in Ontario.
"We really wanted to get a local manufacturer to reduce emissions even further," Dale said.
"They are very similar to what you would typically get in terms of the black containers. They are stackable, lightweight and you can microwave your meal."
"But they are very durable. They have been tested for use up to 100 times so they're completely safe to reuse." Dale said.
Hopes to expand in K-W
A Friendlier Company is currently partnering with five restaurants and now looking to launch at two others.
"Right now we've been completely in the Guelph area but now we're looking for our initial group of restaurants to launch in K-W, so we are always looking for restaurant owners that are interested and would like to start the program in their restaurant," Dale said.
"We also have launched our app. We want to get as many users in the area on our app so they can find all the participating locations and see the restaurants that are really sustainable and who care enough to participate in a program like this."